Whenever I read an article online I am always amazed and ashamed for the comments people will make about people they do not know. Subjects they are no more an expert on than I. Yet for some reason they feel that their opinion no matter how unthoughtful and unkind or just plain mean it may be.
When I was a kid I used to find it funny or silly that my father would watch the news and talk back to the TV as though Walter Cronkite could hear what he had to say. As I got older I found myself doing a similar act but instead to Dan Rather or Peter Jennings. None of them could ever hear our comments. Never hear my criticism of how the world is being run no matter how wrong something was.
Today it is different if you want to shout back at a reporter or the weatherman or anyone else and say your opinion you have the forum to do it and for some reason it is encouraged.
The encouragement is the part I do not understand. If you want to say your friends new hairdo on facebook is beautiful or your not sure what she was drinking when she did that. It is between the two of you and the friends that view the posts. But when it comes to a news story or even the weather. There are people out that for some reason read a story and immediately believe that they need to put their 2 cents in. Not in a polite way but in a unfiltered, unedited yet anonymous way.
If you are willing to put your opinion out why not put your name on it. Well this is where I believe that we have somehow grown to believe that by using an alias the words said are less harmful to speak. That racist, pig headed beliefs spewed on the Internet have no back lash other than in the online world. The person writing them may even think it is funny to get someone else fired up over something they just shouted out without thinking.
I have read things written about people I know that are not true and their is no taking it back once it is out there. Even the media rarely corrects the article that is wrong. There may be a correction but they do not actually correct the original article or even attach the correction to the original article. So it is like the TV commercial says. Well I saw it online and you know they can not put anything that is not true on the Internet. Oh here comes my French model boyfriend.
Are we really that stupid. Now I have noticed that recently that some news organizations no longer show the comments attached to the articles. I don't know why I ever looked. I guess I thought there might be some insight on the story or some new information but usually all I read is about how stupid the person is that is the victim and why were they in that situation and things of that nature.
Why would someone feel that this sort of comment is appropriate. How could it ever be. In the real world where I live if you want to say something you say it with your face showing. You should have enough intelligence to speak knowledgeably about a subject so that you do not look like a fool to those listening. But somehow somewhere it has become acceptable for people to make comments online that are not called for ever, even in your own home.
I understand speaking your mind. I have always been one to speak out when I felt something was wrong. I have gotten in trouble for things I have said and sometimes my mouth has been unfiltered but I never denied saying it. I did not blame Jane for something I did. (I made up Jane.)
So who are these people that are so smart and have so much to say but don't show their face or their name. I guess they are just big chickens that live in their mom's basement and their only communication with the outside world is the Internet. And instead of shouting that they need a friend or help they shout out absurd things about people they do not know.
I don't even know if making people put their name or face on an article like a reporter has to or quote a source would be enough but it might be a start for people to think before they post a comment online.